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Nuances of Reality

Resolutely practical, It is what it is used to be the way I saw things. I refused to ignore reality because, in fact, It is what it is. Looking at what is, I considered cause and effect, then focused on next steps. 

Except that reality holds so much more than the eye can see or instruments can measure. It holds our psyches and hearts, and one person’s truth which is not another’s. 

Nuances are mind gifts - offerings about focus. So how can nuance help us?

Adding nuance to the reality of It is what it is can be especially helpful in times of distress. When situations are not predicted to change, change immediately, or when things are simply out of our control, nuance can be a lifesaver. 

I bought a house. The walls were HIDEOUS - textured, dust sitting atop every bit of horizontal texture, spider webs drawn across tips of texture with dog hairs lodged in them. The bathroom was the worst. Walls were like extra thick cake frosting, like huge stalactites going horizontal. The ceiling - someone probably put glue and threw sand at it. 

The house is newly painted, beautiful now. Except the bathroom. It needs a remodel so it’s still hideous. I brace myself against hideousness whenever I go in.

Turning on the heat this morning my mom came to mind. I remembered how she grew up in Arizona with only an outhouse. What a different life, using an outhouse in winter. Then I remembered a 5-inch hole in the ground in an outhouse on the outskirts of Lo Manthang, Nepal, a permanent dampness encircling this hole about 2-feet wide. And I remembered my Colombian exchange family cousins using newspapers for toilet paper. 

These thoughts shifted my reality. They gave me comparisons with which to contrast my situation. Now I can continue to brace myself for distaste as I focus on my bathroom’s aesthetics, or I can choose to bask in good fortune - the luxury of an indoor toilet, running water and no stench. 

With the gift of nuance we can compare and contrast. We can choose to see a glass half full or half empty, regardless of any change in reality. Simply how we choose to see things changes OUR reality. Our only trap is in our mind.


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